The Kentucky Wildcats are pressing into the new collegiate season, which will commence in just a few months with one of the best rosters in the nation.
They’ll be led by returning National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe. The standout center opted to return to Lexington, hoping to improve his stock for the 2023 NBA Draft. He’ll be one of several Cats expecting to hear his name called on draft night which is usually in late July.
Cason Wallace, who is the No. 2 overall combo guard in the class of 2022 per 247 Sports, is being commonly mocked as a lottery pick, projecting to be the only Wildcats player taken within the first 14 selections
Chris Livingston also should hear his name called and is being mocked as a fringe first-round pick. Those three, along with 2021 5-star sophomore Daimion Collins, have high aspirations to be drafted after the season comes to an end.
But, are they actually being looked at as top-60 players?
Of the mock drafts by The Athletic, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, ESPN, NBC Sports, and Yahoo! Sports, most will immediately see their NBA dream realized. However, Collins only makes it in one of the six with Tshiebwe an early second-round selection in two of the four.
As for the two incoming 5-star recruits, they’re both widely considered first-round picks.
Wallace is a lottery pick in all but Yahoo! Sports, seeing his name as high as No. 7 by CBS Sports and as low as No. 17. He’s taken at No. 14, the last pick in the lottery according to three of the national media sites.
As for Livingston, Yahoo! Sports has him at No. 19 with The Athletic placing him at No. 31. The other four have him sitting between 23 and 27. All four control their own destiny, and for the two freshmen, a solid season could see both as lottery picks in next year’s draft.